How To: Photo Sphere on Phone, Google Cardboard

How to Load a Photo Sphere onto your Phone and view in VR (Google Cardboard)

The absolute easiest way to view a photo sphere on your phone is to create it yourself. Using Google’s Photo Sphere Camera (for Android or IOS). By creating your own spheres they are immediately on your phone. Getting the side by side view for use with your VR headset is only slightly more difficult.


Because Google Cardboard and photo spheres are (kind of) Google ideas, they play nice and simple with Android, sorry IOS users. Let’s assume, to get started, that you created a photo sphere using the Google Camera app and you’d now like to look at it using Google Cardboard. All you have to do (Android users) is download the Google Cardboard app. Launch the app and you’ll see the Tutorial, Tour Guide, Exhibit, Windy Day, Earth, YouTube, and finally Photo Sphere. It will immediately be a ‘3D’ side-by-side view because it’s meant to be viewed in the Cardboard headset (or other knock-off). When you launch the Photo Sphere app, your newly created photo sphere will appear. You can click the screen or use the magnet to progress through the collection of photo spheres on your phone. The user interface leaves much to be desired unfortunately as this technology is still very new.


Renderings and Architecture on Google Cardboard

iPhone users, I will update this page when there is an app for IOS. Currently, there does not seem to be any easy way to view photo spheres on an iphone.

Now, let’s say you want to view a third party’s Photo Sphere on your VR headset (Could be photographed or rendered). Again, this is much easier for Android users. All you have to do, assuming the photo sphere was created correctly, is download the PANO.jpeg to your phone; any folder will do. Launch the Cardboard App, run Photo Sphere, and it will find the photo spheres you’ve added automatically. They will be displayed in the order they were added (most recent first).


What I find exciting about this option, as an architect, is that I can render a photo sphere and then look around the space in virtual reality. Want to view a rendered photo sphere? Download a couple of my CGI rendered photo spheres.

ADDITIONAL: In order for the Google Cardboard App to recognize your rendered jpeg as a true photo sphere, there is an Android App called Photosphere XMP Tagger that gives your jpeg the necessary meta-data.


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  3. Hello 🙂

    Im a 3D artist my self and I am starting to work on stereo scopic. Is it possible to load a left camera sphere and a right camera sphere to get the 3D effect?

    Thanks and Regards

    • Hi Paolo, good recomendation (website)! Did you found some service our program that convert to video or html? I’m searching for this.

    • Hi Paolo, great link, do you know of anything similar that accept sterescopic images, like left and right image. and carboard distortion correction

    • Hi, Paolo,

      I Can’t use this website, my celphone don’t work,
      is a Samsung J1
      i don’t no what’s happening,

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